The Local's Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has tons of beaches. The two most famous ones - Copacabana and Ipanema - are right beside each other, two pale and perfect sides of a V stretching down to the ocean. 

Most tourists will spend their time on Copacabana, made famous by the song of the same name, but our hostel wisely told us that Ipanema is where all the locals hang. So to Ipanema we went, which interestingly, also has a famous song written about it. 

Every Sunday, the city shuts down an entire direction of car lanes so that more people can take advantage of walking on the boardwalk. There's bikers young and old, joggers with glistening bodies, and surprisingly furry and fluffy dogs that somehow survive the heat. Everyone's dressed casual - shorts, flip flops, branded ragged T's. This isn't just the beach uniform - it's the Rio uniform. 

Carioca men were all up and about, playing football and volleyball in the sand while the women lounged in their skimpy butt-baring bikinis and soaked up the sun. The rays was aggressive, and wherever the sun touched you, your skin burned. I can't imagine what it's like during the summer, because we went during winter and it was 30 degrees.

It was the one day during our entire stay that was perfectly sunny and hot. With a cool breeze from the ocean and my feet in the sand, I relaxed and drank cold beer and had zero cares in the world. M spent the day playing around in the insanely massive waves, riding each crest and being pulled along with the tide. 

Of course, all that laying around and swimming around made us hungry, so we left our stuff with our hostel friends and embarked on an adventure along the beach. Before heading to Rio, I watched Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations: Rio episode and diligently wrote down the places that he graced with his presence. Barraca do Uruguay serves delicious, simple sandwiches on white bread, topped with a unique sauce straight from the heavens. M and I ordered all 3 of their options just so we could try, and slowly enjoy, them all. 

After we wrote off the entire day lazing about, we dropped by the "Hippie Fair", which happens every Sunday just outside the General Osorio metro station. This is where M and I got all our souvenirs and gifts, as well as a painting for our apartment. 

The entire middle area is encircled with various painters' artwork, with each stand featuring completely different and unique paintings. I could have taken them all home if I had a) the money and b) a gigantic suitcase to fit it all in. 
Cue the sunset - it's really something you can't miss.  

Carioca's gather at at Pedra do Arpoador, a rocky outpost nestled at the tip between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. We made it here just in time to grab a cocktail and enjoy the beautiful light show performance in the sky. 

Onto Copacabana. We never actually saw it in the daytime, but it was still a beautiful sight in the dark. We had read to be extra cautious and careful on the beach at night, but we never felt unsafe or in danger. As long as you walk along the boardwalk, which is full of people and brightly lighted, you'll be fine.

All along Copacabana, there was a night market in between the two roads. Here the souvenirs were more kitschy and stereotypical, but I did find some gems at the stall above and got some artwork for my friends. 

Next up on places that Anthony Bourdain has vetted: Galeto Sat's. We ordered their specialty, rotisseried chicken, and caipirinha's. 

Literally an entire plate of chicken was placed before us for only $7 per plate. It was so. good. Juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, with an aromatic delicious medley of herbs taste.

Beach day was the best day. An excuse to be lazy, to enjoy the insanely gorgeous sights of Rio, and enjoy the different delicious foods.